How do different color temperatures effect our mood and our daily rhythm? Which light suits which area of life?
The color temperatures of the surrounding light are called warm white, neutral and daylight white or cool white. Warm white light creates a relaxing feel-good atmosphere. Neutral white light is ideal for a general basic lighting while daylight white light is stimulating and activating for sports and for office work.
The color temperature of light is measured in Kelvin. The higher the color temperature the cooler and more bluish is the effect of a light source. The lower, the warmer and more pleasant the light source seems. The warm and yellow light temperature of a candle, for example, has only 1.500 Kelvin. A 40-Watt-light-bulb reaches about 2.700 Kelvin and is called warm white. Neutral white is for example a halogen lamp with 3.400 Kelvin. Now, the color temperature of cool-white-lamps are called daylight white resp. with very high wattage cool white. These lamps are very similar to the daylight. The light color of cool-white-lamps is known from neon tubes.
Now – which light is best where?
- Cool-white-lamps: As mentioned above, cool-white-lamps suit well for working places. Due to their motivating and awakening effect they enable concentrated work. The light of the cool-white-lamps is very bright and has strong contrasts (computer screens, for example). When working with such a screen you should stop doing so in the late afternoon and care for a warm lightning to initiate an “inner end of work”. Cool-white-lamps inhibit the production of the sleeping hormone melatonin. This supports work but it should be avoided in the evening and night to prevent sleep disturbances.
- Warm-white-lamps: Warm-white lamps or lamps with a yellowish light with lower wattage produce a cosy light atmosphere. The light color has a comfortable warm effect on our body like dusk, for example. Thus, relaxation and melatonin production are stimulated. When spending two to three hours in this light you are ready to fall asleep. Preferably use warm-white-lamps in the bathroom, as well. When going to the bathroom at night you won’t be disturbed by a bright light. In case you need a brighter light for putting on the make up or for shaving, place this light directly at your mirror.
It is a known fact that people who are constantly exposed to the cool-white-light of neon tubes more likely suffer under sleep disturbances. Meanwhile, in nursing and retirement homes lamps with color temperatures suitable for the course of the day are used.
At home you are able to easily create the suitable lighting: use a reading light, a floor lamp or a desk lamp.
Image Source: @Hotel Alpin Juwel